At that same time, the US Navy ship, USS Vincennes was nearby, at the Strait of Hormuz, where the commercial airliner flown by captain Mohsen Resaian would pass by. The American ship was guided by Commander William C. Rogers III.
What happened next has been up for debate for a very long time, but, according to official records, the American ship confused the Iranian airplane for a military, attacking jet. The American ship tried to contact Iran Air flight 655, but there was no answer. After two more contacts, the Americans fired three bombs at the civilian jet, particularly one that broke the plane into two halves and also harmed the plane's tail and right wing sections. The American military personnel, thinking they had hit a military airplane, celebrated. To their horror, they would soon discover that the jet hit was a civilian airplane, when many pieces of luggage and even bodies were seen floating near their ship.
The official version of the tragedy of Iran Air flight 655 has been disagreed about by many, including a writer of the Newsweek magazine, who debated that, since all talks in international flights between pilots and control towers must be done in English, the occupants of the USS Vincennes should have known that the plane nearing them was a commercial jet-liner. Some people also blamed the bombing of Pan Am 103, to Iran Air 655 'Avengers'.
This accident almost caused an international incident with the Iranian President vowing revenge on America a few days later.